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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Changes Coming to 9-9-9?

Andrew Stiles at The Corner

As Kate mentioned below, the Wall Street Journal’s Steve Moore, who helped design Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan, is having second thoughts about political viability of the national sales tax aspect of the plan and has recommended a 9 percent payroll tax to replace it.

In an interview with National Review Online, Moore explains that he has “come to the conclusion that a national sales tax is just a nonstarter,” politically. While he wasn’t expecting such a hostile reaction to the idea, Moore concedes that “people are naturally suspicious of a new tax.”

Cain’s current plan would eliminate the payroll tax altogether, and he often touts this as a selling point. However, enthusiasm over the elimination of an existing tax has been overshadowed by concern over the prospect of creating an entirely new revenue source for the federal government. Indeed, as Cain’s poll numbers have continued to rise and other candidates have begun to target him, the “new tax” argument has been a favorite line of attack.

Moore recommends as easy fix — set the payroll tax at 9 percent across the board (a reduction from current levels), while eliminating the existing cap on the amount of income from wages that can be taxed. Moore estimates that this new version of the plan would raise “roughly the same amount” of revenue as the current one, and argues that Cain would be “well-advised” to make the change. It is simply a matter of being “better off with the devil we know than the devil we don’t know.”

That’s not to say that Moore no longer likes the 9-9-9 plan in its current form. “I’d take a national sales tax if gets [income-tax] rates down to nine percent,” he says. “But there are some very real objections out there.”

Moore acknowledges that despite the criticism from other Republicans, Cain has been a capable defender of the plan its current form. And while he doesn’t expect to see the candidate announce any changes in tonight’s debate, Moore thinks the transition could be relatively smooth. “Is it a capitulation? No. It’s just a strategic change,” he says.

“Republican voters want to blow up the current tax system and start over, and Herman Cain is one of the few who proposed doing that,” Moore says. “He has the boldest plan out there right now.”

124 comments:

  1. Perry destroys 999, then flops again by saying HIS plan is coming soon!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Perry says a fence would take 15 years and cost 30 billion!

    Doug could get the fence built in 1 year.

    He then proposes a technological fix.
    ...as tho Billions weren't already wasted on that failed experiment.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hawaii has 4.116, AND an income tax.
    Do the Aussies have an Income Tax, also?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yep, the following brackets:

    15
    30
    37
    45

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  5. Jeeze!

    10-30

    Property Tax?

    Payroll?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hank Williams, Jr. compares Obama to Hitler and gets fired. Susan Sarandon calls the Pope a Nazi and the press ignores it. Go figure.

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  7. The President is one of US, Ms T.

    The Pope, just another foreign priest.

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  8. U.S. housing starts jump 15%, hit 17-month high (so maybe no double-dip, eh?)

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  9. Blogger Deuce said...

    Fuck you Ash, Mind your own business. You have no idea what I own or where I owni or if I own anything. I may be living out of a 92 Buick station wagon for all you know.




    It ain't me minding your business but rather Uncle Sam who demands that you, a privileged US citizen, reveal all your holdings, your income, both domestic and foreign regardless of source.

    I heard a Professor on the radio the other day who noted (re. the requirement for ex-pat US citizens who have never, or long ago, earned nor resided in the US but are full compliant in their current country) that one of the major drivers of the creation of the US in rebelling agianst the British was that the colonists of in North America were not happy with paying taxes overseas to a nation overextended by too many foreign wars and a far flung empire unable to meet its fiscal obligations by taxing its domestic populace. Sounds a bit like the current US gov - no?

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  10. desert rat said... The President is one of US, Ms T.

    Kenya believe that? No. In fact, I'm thinking Obama's drone attack on al-Milwaukee was just another case of Muslim-on-Muslim violence.

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  11. News from the Fleabaggers in North Carolina:

    Monday evening, we showed up at a 7pm meeting of Occupy Charlotte supporters at their uptown camp site. That’s when the group went temporarily silent.

    One group member proposed a vote, and the group of about 50 appeared to unanimously agree not to say another word for the time being. When we asked what was going on, one member said the local media had been misconstruing the group’s message, so they decided to stop talking to reporters.

    The group sat in silence for about 15 minutes until reporters walked farther away. Then the meeting appeared to continue. About an hour later, after wbtv.com requested an interview, the group held another vote and sent someone over to act as a spokesman.

    “Seems they’re a little disappointed with some things that happened out here between some of the media outlets and stuff,” said Occupy Charlotte supporter Thomas Shope. “Seems like some people tromped through some of their property and were a little bit forceful in the questions they asked.”

    When reminded that the Occupy Charlotte movement was taking place on public property, Shope said the protestors still deserved to get some sleep.


    Bwahahahahahaha!

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  13. .

    Bwahahahahahaha!


    Some people can't win. First, they are called pawns and are accused of being used by the media. Then they are blasted for ignoring it.

    At other times they are accused of using the media. Then they are abused when they don't.

    Go figure.

    .

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  14. Doug was correct, Herman burnt himself, badly, for saying he'd even consider acting like an Israeli, if elected President of the United States.

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  15. Quirk: Some people can't win. First, they are called pawns and are accused of being used by the media. Then they are blasted for ignoring it.

    I'm laughing at the recognition that all this OWS sound and fury signifies nothing. They'll get around to eating the rich right after their nap, man.

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  16. Why not just an flat 18% income tax, on all sources of income?

    Mr Cain already is omitting capital gains, from earned income.

    Now he is engaging in Class Warfare, by double taxing labor.

    Singling out labor to carry a greater share of the expense of government.

    Class Warrior!

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  18. Now Mr Cain advocates reinforcing the worst aspect of the current tax code.

    There is nothing "Right" in what he is trying to conserve.

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  19. The turmoil continues across the Islamic Arc.

    (Reuters) - Turkey launched air and ground assaults on Kurdish militants in Iraq on Wednesday, vowing to take "great revenge" after 24 Turkish soldiers were killed in one of the deadliest Kurdish attacks in decades.

    These Islamoids cannot get along with themselves, to claim there is some sort of military threat to US, from those disparate forces, is to be less than serious.

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  20. Entertainment!

    It continues ...

    Fox News -

    All that was missing from Tuesday's Republican debate was a surprise paternity test. Add that, and you would have had the perfect daytime talk show.

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  21. Teresita said...
    U.S. housing starts jump 15%, hit 17-month high (so maybe no double-dip, eh?)

    Wed Oct 19, 09:34:00 AM EDT


    Check the latest numbers on mortgages and refinancing. They paint a totally different picture.

    I try to hold my fire for 4-8 weeks until the reliable revisions (almost always opposite the original data) are reported.

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  22. There are many sales, allen, here in AZ, that are all cash.

    More than in the "old days".

    No need for financing when there is discount pricing, at least in Scottsdale, AZ.

    Whether that is a national trend, or not, I couldn't say.

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  23. Reuters in Manila -

    Fighting between Philippine soldiers and a group of Muslim separatists has forced thousands of people to flee their homes on southern Mindanao and created a new problem for stalled peace talks to end the longrunning insurgency.


    Twenty people were killed when army commandos clashed with fighters from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) near al-Barka town on Basilan on Tuesday. Both sides accused each other of breaking a seven-year truce.

    Al Rasheed Sakalahul, the vice governor of Basilan province, said the deployment of more troops, backed by helicopters and armoured vehicles, had forced residents to flee their homes and farms. "They fear of getting caught in a crossfire if another encounter erupts,"

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  24. Ms Dowd @ the NYTimes:


    In a Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll released on Tuesday, people were asked what single word came to mind for Republican candidates. For Herman Cain it was 9-9-9; for Rick Perry, Texas; and for Mitt Romney, Mormon. In the debate Tuesday night, Romney said it was repugnant that “we should choose people based on their religion.”


    In The Times on Sunday, Sheryl Gay Stolberg chronicled Romney’s role as a bishop in Boston often giving imperious pastoral guidance on everything from divorce to abortion.

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  25. Hitchens noted that they “got hold of a list of those put to death by the Nazis’ Final Solution” and “began making these massacred Jews into honorary LDS members as well.” He called it “a crass attempt at mass identity theft from the deceased.”

    The Mormons even baptized Anne Frank.

    It took Ernest Michel, then chairman of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, three years to get Mormons to agree to stop proxy-baptizing Holocaust victims.

    Mormons desisted in 1995 after Michel, as the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported, “discovered that his own mother, father, grandmother and best childhood friend, all from Mannheim, Germany, had been posthumously baptized.”

    ReplyDelete
  26. .

    Federal employees whose compensation averages more than $126,000 and the nation’s greatest concentration of lawyers helped Washington edge out San Jose as the wealthiest U.S. metropolitan area, government data show.

    The U.S. capital has swapped top spots with Silicon Valley, according to recent Census Bureau figures, with the typical household in the Washington metro area earning $84,523 last year. The national median income for 2010 was $50,046.

    This has not escaped the notice of those who concern themselves with income disparity, and they’re feeling a bit queasy about it:

    The figures demonstrate how the nation’s political and financial classes are prospering as the economy struggles with unemployment above 9 percent and thousands of Americans protest in the streets against income disparity, said Kevin Zeese, director of Prosperity Agenda, a Baltimore-based advocacy group trying to narrow the divide between rich and poor.

    “There’s a gap that’s isolating Washington from the reality of the rest of the country,” Zeese said. “They just get more and more out of touch.”



    The Elites Finally Makes it to the Top

    .

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  27. .

    In The Times on Sunday, Sheryl Gay Stolberg chronicled Romney’s role as a bishop in Boston often giving imperious pastoral guidance on everything from divorce to abortion.

    Imperious?

    The NYT's idea of objectivity from one of the adherants of the religion of secularism.

    .

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  28. The NYTimes, Q, sets the tone for the rest of the mass media.

    So ...

    ... Imperious, it is.

    ReplyDelete
  29. im·pe·ri·ous
       
    adjective
    1. domineering in a haughty manner; dictatorial; overbearing: an imperious manner; an imperious person.

    2. urgent; imperative: imperious need.

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  30. The idea that Anne Frank is now a Mormon, now that is an intriguing concept to ponder.

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  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  32. .

    The idea that Anne Frank is now a Mormon, now that is an intriguing concept to ponder.

    The idea that any whack-job would get upset over what another group of whack-jobs did in this case? Kinda funny.

    .

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  33. .

    Larry Kudlow citing a 'scientific' poll referenced in the WSJ says OWS is a radical left-wing group and Obama should steer clear.

    The New York Post says you have to judge a man by his allies and then says OWS is supported by communists, socialists, and Nazis.
    Nuff said.

    Wonder what this says about the country where Time reports 54% support the OWS protests.

    Likewise it would be interesting to see the Post's response when the Tea Party was accused of being selfish, gun-toting, racist, nazi's and skinheads because of a few isolated quotes and signs.

    The players change, the words remain the same.

    .

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  34. "There’s a gap that’s isolating Washington from the reality of the rest of the country,"

    ---

    When anyone brings up Senatorial Staff and etc. The cost of Michelle's extravagances, hauling hundreds of guests in extra Air Force planes, 400 WH staff, etc. commentators on the right and left dismiss it as minor, no big deal, etc.

    But the effect on the soul and psyche of those living in such a bubble is profound.
    The sense of entitlement, profound.
    Kings never lived so well, yet we have supposedly matured beyond Monarchy.

    I know everyone is sick of hearing me repeat my story of Harry Truman driving Bess and himself back from the WH in their Plymouth, but the difference from the absurdity of extravagant excess in DC is no trivial matter, simply based on the effect on everyone's (The Elite AND The Goverened) psyche is malignant in the extreme.

    /rant off.

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  35. The Poll refered to is the respected Mr. Schoen, who worked for the Pollmeister extraordinare, William J. Clinton.
    Time is Time.

    There is little equivalence between the parties or the reportage of them by the MSM.

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  36. The weirdos in the occupation are not isolated, they are the norm.

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  37. Until the government started suing Microsoft and security became a concern, Bill Gates used to fly coach, even after becoming a Billionaire.

    Such behavior by politicos today, rare.

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  38. Doug said... Until the government started suing Microsoft and security became a concern, Bill Gates used to fly coach, even after becoming a Billionaire.

    Another thing he used to do was drive around the city looking for the cheapest parking lot, maybe save a buck or two. At a certain point, that doesn't make sense. It's like driving 30 miles over town looking to save a couple cents per gallon on gas. Time is money too.

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  39. desert rat said...
    There are many sales, allen, here in AZ, that are all cash.


    The same can be said for Atlanta. This just goes to show the deflationary nature of the realty bubble correction. And there is more to come.

    When do we start calling this monster a "depression". Will it take nearly a 7% decrease in middle class income over the last decade? How about a nearly 30% decline in the book value of real estate over five years? Oh, that's right...We already have those and a real un/underemployment rate of nearly 20%, nationally.

    Hmm...a rose by anyother name...

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  40. I've read the Book of Mormon a couple of times and commented on it.

    Basically, in their theology, they believe some Jews left Judah about 13 years before ol' Nebuchadnezzar came in there and sacked the temple and deported everybody who was anybody to Babylon. They believe this party of Jews went to America by seas. Mormons believe they are essentially Jews. They call everyone else (except classic Jews) Gentiles. Except for a few problems including, but not limited to:

    1. They did not carry a copy of the Torah. The only writings they had was a set of brass plates they killed a collector named Laban to obtain. These brass plates had maxims written on them such as "Thou Shalt Not Kill"

    2. The Mormons stopped observing Shabbat from Friday sundown until Saturday sundown. Instead they observed Sunday from midnight to midnight just like the Protestants in upstate New York.

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  41. .

    The Poll refered to is the respected Mr. Schoen, who worked for the Pollmeister extraordinare, William J. Clinton.
    Time is Time.


    Here is the respected Mr. Shoen speaking for himself. The bar is free to judge for themselves. regarding the posts that have been put up.

    Mr. Shoen on OWS

    .

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  42. I've been saying we're in deflationary times, for quite a while, now.

    One reason I do not think the expansion of the money supply by a couple of trillion USD over a two or three year timeline would be a negative thing, on balance.

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  43. .

    Ben Bernanke lost me when he said he will maintain zero interest rates into 2013.

    He denies we have inflation yet the government disagrees with him. Social Security recipients are scheduled to get a 3.6% inflation adjustment at the end of the year.

    The zero FED rates hurt everyone but the banks.

    .

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  44. ..and melody getting the seats down is not the problem, keep them propped up is the issue


    maybe you need a new house

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  45. Mr Bernanke and his cohort at the Federal Reserve are a power unto themselves.

    They should not be.

    There must be

    ACCOUNTABILITY

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  46. You don't have to worry much about inflation when Real Median Family Incomes are falling, year after year.

    The inflation we have is, basically, the price increases in Oil, and its closest derivatives, such as food (the price of oil probably affects the price of food more than it does any other class of products.)

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  47. Exactly, rufus.

    There is not enough money in circulation. The M1 supply was not growing, in 2007 & '08.

    The "Stimulus" was not enough to prime the pump, run dry by the real estate collapse.

    The President should take unilateral action to relieve the liquidity drought. Pouring $1.2 trillion into the economy, this year and next could be enough.

    He has the legal authority to do it.
    He should be exercising bold leadership.

    He'll never have another chance.

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  48. .

    You don't have to worry much about inflation when Real Median Family Incomes are falling, year after year.

    Tell that to the people in Egypt.

    .

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  49. .

    The inflationary trends leave me less than sanguine. The monthly inflation rate has been climbing since January. It is approaching 4%.

    The has been no inflation adjustments in SS benefits for the last two years. This year the adjustment will be 3.6%.

    The trend is troubling.

    Inflation Rates

    .

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  50. Q, the Egyptians pay close to nothing for essentials such as food. They, also, make close to nothing, as there is no manufacturing/exports to speak of.

    They have survived for years by the government selling oil, and importing wheat, etc. to supply, virtually, free of charge to the citizens (if you will go back and look, the "food demonstrations" were caused by the "Bakers Going On Strike," not from any increase in the cost of food.

    Their big problem, now, is that their oil production has dropped to a level that will just barely supply the country, with none left to exports. Thus they have serious "Food Imports," and no oil exports. Big oops.

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  51. .

    They have survived for years by the government selling oil, and importing wheat, etc. to supply, virtually, free of charge to the citizens (if you will go back and look, the "food demonstrations" were caused by the "Bakers Going On Strike," not from any increase in the cost of food.

    I am not going to go back and look Rufus. I recall it differently than you. The reports I saw said that their food prices had risen by 54%. If as you said they are making next to nothing a rise in food prices even from a low base hits them hard.

    What you say about oil may be true but it has little to do with the original focus of the Tahrir demonstrations.

    .

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  52. .

    If you do not like the Egyptian anology, just respond to the trend in inflation here in the US.

    .

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  53. Once you back out "food and energy" September inflation was up 0.1% and YOY was 2.0%.

    Today's CPI Report

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  54. The Bakers went on strike. The government brought the army in to run the bakeries. Maybe some little mom and pop black market operations were charging more.

    They buy a small loaf of bread for a Penny. A "Penny," Bubba.

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  55. .

    Once you back out "food and energy" September inflation was up 0.1% and YOY was 2.0%.


    What's your point?

    That we don't need to eat or drive?

    You sound like Bernanke.

    .

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  56. Don't be simplistic, Q. Inflation is caused by an excess of "money" chasing a surfeit of goods.

    Price increases in Oil, and agricultural commodities are, basically, caused by Global supply/demand considerations.

    China is importing more, and more oil, coal, corn, and soybeans (btw, just a few years ago they were "Exporters" of the first 3 of these commodities.)

    We are, steadily, ramping up our production of corn, and soybeans (as the government allows a couple of million acres/yr to come out of the CRP,) but OIL is a much more problematic resource.

    Global oil exports have been steadily falling since 2005, and this trend looks to be set in stone.

    The good news is oil prices can't rise much further (if at all) without putting us, and the rest of the OECD into Recession.

    The bad news is: that is pretty much a dead-bang certainty.

    That means our worry is "future depression," not inflation.

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  57. The bottom line of that screed is that by Feb, or March YOY inflation should be back in the 2.5% range.

    But, we will, of course, be in recession.

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  59. In fact, those CPI numbers could, quite easily, be "in the red" again by June, or July, of next year.

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  60. The numbers are skewed, Q, by the contents of the basket.

    The losses in the real estate market are not properly factored in the formula by the Federals to reflect their real whirled deflationary impact on what would be the "real" rate of inflation.

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  61. DR said...
    The losses in the real estate market are not properly factored in the formula.

    Bingo! But, then, nothing is "properly" factored.

    The way the cost of living is massaged by the Fed reminds me of the old Monty Python duel of the knights - "It's only a flesh wound you coward; come back and fight!"

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  62. Look, with incomes falling, credit demand falling, and productivity rising, How in the heck can you be looking at overall rising inflation?

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  63. rufus wrote:

    "(if you will go back and look, the "food demonstrations" were caused by the "Bakers Going On Strike," not from any increase in the cost of food."



    Rufus, how about some support for that statement?

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  64. Every 1, 2, 3, and 5 year bond auction is way "oversubscribed" even with Negative Real Returns.

    The likelihood of any near to medium term inflation seems very remote in such an atmosphere.

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  65. No, Ash, I'm not going to play that game. If you don't think I'm correct YOU go and prove me wrong.

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  66. Blogger Rufus II said...

    "Don't be simplistic, Q. Inflation is caused by an excess of "money" chasing a surfeit of goods."

    That is it in your view? So how would you explain stagflation?

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  67. .

    My initial comment was that Bernanke's decision to hold the zero percent rate into 2013 helps no one but the bankers. I didn't offer reasons but I can.

    I then pointed out the trend in inflation.

    You indicated it was nothing to worry about. I disagree.

    You may be right about where we will be in February. We will have to wait and see.

    Your argument is based on the price of food and energy and you quote supply and demand issues; however, at the same time I believe you downplay the impact of supply and demand in non-OECD/US economies, bubba.

    .

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  68. I guess you can find no support for you assertion of fact which certainly should lead one to doubt the veracity of your claim rufus. I don't know the answer but there is no reason to accept your statement.

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  69. Oh, what the hell; Here:

    From their center of gravity in the textile sector, the strikes have spread to mobilize makers of building materials, Cairo subway workers, garbage collectors, bakers, food processing workers and many others. Like almost all strikes in Egypt in the last 40 years, the latest work stoppages are “illegal” -- unauthorized by the state-sponsored General Federation of Trade Unions and its subsidiary bodies in factories and other workplaces. But unlike upsurges of working-class collective action in the 1980s and 1990s, which were confined to state-owned industries, the wave that began in late 2004 has also pushed along employees in the private sector.

    Around the same time the first strikes broke out, the most outspoken pro-democracy street protests in years -- including in their ranks leftists and secular nationalists and sometimes Muslim Brothers -- also appeared. Having spent three years trying to contain the pro-democracy ferment, the regime of President Husni Mubarak has now launched a counterattack on the workers’ movement as well. The counterattack comes as many activist workers have shifted their gaze from wages, benefits and working conditions to the explicitly political question of their relation, through the General Federation, to the state.


    Google is your friend

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  70. I mean, c'mon Rufus, you make a bold statement of fact and then run when asked for support. A quick google suggests you are wrong:

    Reports: Egyptian and Tunisian riots were driven in part by the spike in global food prices

    ...

    Rising prices are “leading to riots, demonstrations and political instability,” New York University economics professor Nouriel Roubini said during a panel discussion. “It’s really something that can topple regimes, as we have seen in the Middle East.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/01/30/207426/egyptian-tunisian-riots-food-prices-extreme-weather-and-high-oil-prices/


    Rising Food Prices Can Topple Governments, Too

    Political unrest has broken out in Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt and other Arab countries. Social media and governmental policies are getting most of the credit for spurring the turmoil, but there's another factor at play.

    Many of the people protesting are also angry about dramatic price hikes for basic foodstuffs, such as rice, cereals, cooking oil and sugar.

    http://www.npr.org/2011/01/30/133331809/rising-food-prices-can-topple-governments-too

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  71. Rufus II said... Q, the Egyptians pay close to nothing for essentials such as food. They, also, make close to nothing, as there is no manufacturing/exports to speak of.

    I'm calling bullshit on this, it sounds like another Oil Drum canard.

    2010 CIA factbook on Egypt:

    GDP per capita: $6,200 (compare India $3,500, China $7,600)

    Unemployment rate 9%.

    Population below poverty line: 20%

    Public debt 79.9% of GDP (compare US 62.3%, Japan 197.5%)

    In fine, Egypt isn't any great shakes but they aren't on the brink of disintegration.

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  73. .

    Rufus brings a U.S. perspectiuve to countries were a good portion of the population makes less than $2.00 US per day to support average families that are much larger than those in the US.

    .

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  74. rufus,

    Let me refresh your memory on what you actually wrote:

    "(if you will go back and look, the "food demonstrations" were caused by the "Bakers Going On Strike," not from any increase in the cost of food."

    How the hell does the fact that the bakers went on strike (like many others) support your contention that the riots were because the bakers went on strike and not the price of food?

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  75. Just do what I did, and google: Egypt bakers strike. The news was full of it when it happened.

    The oil companies, and their Fox news cohorts were spinning it as "food riots," when in reality they were protesting Everything. It was the beginning of the Arab Spring. And, of course, food costs did go up when the bakers went on strike.

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  76. Blogger Rufus II said...

    Look, with incomes falling, credit demand falling, and productivity rising, How in the heck can you be looking at overall rising inflation?



    A scenario that could produce inflation is rising commodity prices due to demand (i.e. peak oil). It is entirely possible that the cost of basic foodstuff could rise even as people got poorer and if all of your 'money' goes to buy the basics, well, that would suck.

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  77. As for stagflation: Think for a fucking change, will you? We've had one Real bout of stagflation. WHEN DID IT HIT?

    Right after we left the Bretton Woods Gold Standard, and Oil Prices spiked. We were still trying to get used to floating currencies (fiat,) and F'n Richard Nixon instituted PRICE FUCKING CONTROLS.

    Jeez.

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  78. rufus, the bakers went on strike, we agree on that. You state that caused the food riots and I haven't seen any evidence to support that claim. I've seen evidence to the contrary.

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  79. .

    The oil companies, and their Fox news cohorts were spinning it as "food riots,"


    :)


    .

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  80. You can call bs all you want, T; but Egypt is one sick puppy. They import half of their food, they're no longer an oil exporter, they have no manufacturing to speak of, everyone works for the government, and the government has enough money to "make payroll" for about 4 more months.

    Remember, it was the CIA "factbook" that put the USSR GDP as "equivalent" to that of the United States a Year before they went "tits up."

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  81. Well, then, you weren't paying attention, Ash. It was all over the news. However, there weren't any "riots." There "were" demonstrations. The government even brought the army in to bake bread. Of course, with the bakers on strike the only bread would have been from enterprising black-marketers, and prices did go up.

    And, of course, people demonstrate because of a lack of food, or because of high prices, not because abdullah ain't workin'.

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  82. It's true, Q. Saudi Prince Alwaleed is the second largest shareholder of Newscorp. Fox has been fighting biofuels from the get-go.

    They were (very successfully, I might add) spinning it as ethanol from corn causing "food riots/starvation around the world."

    It was quite a big thing for a whole summer.

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  83. They were fighting the renewable fuels standard.

    They're, also, ramping up again, as the main ethanol subsidy, the blenders' credit, comes to an end in Sept, and some proponents are trying, unsuccessfully, I'm afraid, to salvage a little something for "Cellulosic" production.

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  84. should be: "comes to an end in December."

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  85. Ethanol was blamed, tambien, for the demonstrations in Mexico.

    02/01/07

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Some 75,000 unionists, farmers and leftists marched to protest price increases in basic foodstuffs like tortillas, a direct challenge to the new president's market-oriented economic policies blamed by some for widening the gulf between rich and poor.

    Since taking office Dec. 1 after a disputed election, President Felipe Calderon has drawn his greatest criticism for failing to control the largest price spike in tortillas in decades. Tortillas are a staple of poor Mexicans' diet.


    Mr Calderon subsequently:

    "Declared War on the Cartels"

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  86. On Jan. 18, Calderon signed an accord with business organizations to try to limit tortilla prices to about 35 cents a pound. But many of the independent tortilla sellers have ignored the rate, essentially a gentlemen's agreement with no legal backing.

    High tortilla prices put some Mexicans in danger of being malnourished.

    The poor eat an average of 14 ounces of tortillas daily, giving them 40% of their protein, according to Amanda Galvez, who runs a nutrition research institute at Mexico's National Autonomous University.

    With the new prices, workers earning the minimum wage of about $4 a day could spend a third of their earnings on tortillas for their family.

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  87. Re: Egypt

    It should not go unsaid that tourism may be one of the largest, if not the largest, money maker of the lot. Right about now I would boldly guess that tourism is at about zero.

    Tunisia is where all the trouble was first reported. Those reports had to do with food prices.

    Does anyone recall the near revolution in Mexico some 4-5 years ago when a spike in corn futures caused tortillas to double in price? Oh, and that doubling was in pennies, if that tells how close to the margin these folks live.

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  88. While this piece from the World Socialist Website has some interesting analysis, and is not that ideological in its presentation.

    Rising food prices threaten 1 billion with chronic hunger
    By Naomi Spencer
    21 February 2011

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  89. Actually, you see, Mexican tortillas are made from WHITE SWEET MEXICAN CORN.


    The part of NAFTA that dealt with U.S. exports of YELLOW FIELD CORN to Mexico hadn't kicked in, yet.

    As a result, There could be Absolutely No Connection between the price of yellow dent field corn in the U.S. and WHITE SWEET CORN in Mexico.


    I'll tell you what Was going on about that time. There was a "Mexican Food" rage in the U.S., and vast numbers of Mexican Tortillas were being shipped North.

    btw, Mexican WHITE SWEET CORN sells for about three, or four times what Iowa yellow dent sells for.

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  90. Thousands of People Protest NAFTA and defend Food Sovereignty in Mexico


    Posted February 18th, 2008


    Almost 30 percent of the Mexican population works the land, and for them –according to the organizers of the protest- food sovereignty becomes an issue of national security. In that sense, the elimination of trade barriers on corn imports will open the door to U.S. products and put more Mexican farmers out of business. “The Government’s unwillingness to promote the renegotiation of NAFTA’s agricultural chapter, sheds light on its decision to maintain an excluding economic policy that only benefits international producers and their wealthy Mexican business partners” says a document signed by the organizers of the rally. In the same document, the organizations called for the creation of a movement in defense of food sovereignty, workers’ rights, and democratic freedom that will keep mobilizing people in the upcoming months.
    “The ongoing neoliberal model only increases inequality, poverty and unemployment for the marginalized sectors of the urban and rural populations, which are the majority in this country. The deterioration of the environment and the handing over of our natural resources to foreign investors only aggravates our social problems, and today it is time for us to stop all that” adds the document.
    Protestors noted that their U.S. counterparts receive almost 20,000 dollars each in annual subsidies, while the Mexican producers only receive less than $ 700. The vast disparity in government support between Mexican campesinos and U.S. producers, along with the high costs of fertilizer and electricity creates an unfair competition against Mexican farmers on the international and local markets.

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  91. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  92. …talking about Atlanta and real estate…

    America's Emptiest Cities, 2011

    5. Atlanta, Georgia
    Rental vacancy rate: 11.8%
    Homeowner vacancy rate: 5.4%

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  93. The misinformation department of the mass media was working overtime, in '07, rufus.

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  94. We're Number 1!


    The emptiest city in the U.S. is the second-largest city in Arizona: Tucson. With rental vacancies at 15.9 percent, the city is seventh most vacant among major cities, while the 6.8 percent homeowner vacancy rate is the highest in the country as of the second quarter of 2011.

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  95. When in the history of the world has reality trumped perception?

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  96. The perceptions of Shah Ala ad-Din Muhammad were shattered by the reality of the Mongol army under Genghis Khan.

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  97. .

    It's true, Q. Saudi Prince Alwaleed is the second largest shareholder of Newscorp. Fox has been fighting biofuels from the get-go.

    Irrelevant, bubba.

    The Fed is rats latest bete noire, the oil companies are yours.

    I don't watch Fox News just as I don't watch MSNBC. Not sure who here does other than Doug. As for the oil companies, I also don't visit the Oil Drum or the Cornhuskers Daily.

    As I recall, publications as diverse as The Guardian and The Telegragh, the Times and the Post, the Economist and the Denver Post, and the Detroit News and the Free Press all carried stories with pretty much the same story line.

    The demonstrations were said to be prompted by rapidly rising prices and high unmeployment.

    Official unemployment in Egypt is 8-9%, however most non-governmental estimates put it at 15-25%. Young people are hit especially hard.

    .

    .

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  98. “The 2011 corn crop I witnessed in China was far more impressive than I expected,” said Don Hutchens, Nebraska Corn Board executive director who participated in the USGC tour. “They have little, if any, crop loss and average yields are expected to be in the mid 80 bushel per acre range.”

    However, all that corn is still expected to be insufficient to meet China’s demands. USGC expects China will need to import 5-10 million tons of corn for the 2011/12 season, a significantly more than USDA’s estimate of 2.68 million tons.

    “With the fastest-growing middle class in the world, China has a great opportunity to enhance its food security through trade. That translates into a growing opportunity for U.S. producers over the next several years,” said Dr. Wendell Shauman, USGC chairman.

    As recently as 2002/2003, China exported nearly 600 million bushels of corn. Exports then began to decline, and China was a net importer in 2009/2010 and 2010/2011.


    China, China, China

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  99. Stick with the Guardian, Q. And, I'll stick with the "Cornhusker Daily." We'll see who ends up with the most accurate perspective on commodities, and prices/trends.

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  100. And, I'll continue to read the oyl drum (even if they won't let me speak.) :)

    Since, the fact is, they are the only ones that have had "it" right for the last five years.

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  101. Stick with the Guardian, Q. And, I'll stick with the "Cornhusker Daily." We'll see who ends up with the most accurate perspective on commodities, and prices/trends.

    As I said bubba, oil is you number 42.

    We were talking about Egypt and the Arab Spring demonstrations. You imply our positions on that subject were filtered through stories planted by Fox and the oil companies.

    Nonsense.

    .

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  102. Re: Genghis Khan

    You may mean John Kerry.

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  103. Not nonsense; solid fact if you'd open your brain just an inch.

    If you weren't aware of the Bakers' strikes, then you knew next to nothing of the situation.

    If you were'nt aware that large sections of the MSM were trying to vector totally subsidized wheat prices in Egypt with cattle feed prices, and, subsequently, ethanol in the U.S. you were living under a rock.

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  104. .

    You are hilarious Ruf.

    Now the Arab Spring is actually a mass media conspiracy against ethanol.

    .

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  105. You're not hilarious; you're just being a jerk. I said nothing of the sort.

    I said the media misrepresented the reason for the "food demonstrations" in Egypt 4 yrs ago.

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  106. I did make the remark that those mass strikes were the early stages of what we now call "the Arab Spring."

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  107. .

    There were stories of US corn production being transferred to ethanol use as contributing to inflation there. There were more that indicated the FED's easy money policies were contributing to inflation in emerging markets. The were even more, the majority, that didn't mention either of these factors. Yet you focus on the few that mentioned ethanol.

    .

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  108. Plans dropped to keep troops in Iraq

    The Associated Press has announced that plans to keep troops in Iraq past the end of the year deadline have been dropped. The plan remains to pull all troops out of Iraq by January.

    The only soldiers that will remain in the country is a 160 member active-duty group that is attached to the U.S. Embassy. For a few months now the idea was on the table to leave troops in Iraq to continue training the Iraqi security.

    Obama’s fatal Afghan gambit

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  109. Quirk said...

    "You are hilarious Ruf.

    Now the Arab Spring is actually a mass media conspiracy against ethanol."

    ---

    Not funny, Quirk:

    The Koch Brothers and Big Oil OWN NPR.

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  110. There were no such stories about Fed Easing causing inflation in 2007, Q. There couldn't have been, because the Crash hadn't happened yet. In fact, we weren't even in recession at that point.

    Now, you ARE making shit up.

    Quit digging, Q. The holes plenty deep enough for a grave, already.

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  111. Plus, you might strike...

    OIL !

    Will the horrors never stop?

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  112. And, as for your little snarky buddy, Doug: NPR, and the "Greenie" outfits, Also, were happy to accept the meme, inasmuch as they'd thrown their weight in behind windmills, and electric cars.

    BTW, many of the sites that were considered "greenie" actually were funded by the Kochs, and Big Oil. kind of an unholy alliance that I wrote about in '07. Nature Conservancy comes to mind. Number one funder - Koch Bros. Led the charge on "Indirect Land Use Change." A crop of stinking horseshit that has now been totally rebuked, even by the nutsos in California.

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  113. .

    Sorry, Rufus.

    I went through your posts and still can't find anything about how we transitioned to 2007. I thought we were talking about the Arab Spring demonstrations in Egypt.

    You say I am living under a rock because I don't focus on ethanol stories as they affected the Arab Spring demonstations and in the next breath imply the stories are specious.

    Sorry, I don't see the logic.

    And even if there was some miscommunication, and you were talking about stories from 2007, I still miss your point.

    You say there were stories floating around about ethanol driving up food prices back in 2007, long before the Tahrir in Egypt. You then contend those stories are specious. Yet you are the only one that brought the stories up. They were never part of my comments on Egypt.

    Sounds a bit muddled to me.

    As for digging a hole remember it is you that ususally assumes the ladder.

    However, you seem to be getting a little ruffled so I will drop the subject.

    Heading for the gym.

    .

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  114. .

    Hey, Doug, now you are my little snarky buddy.

    You are not going to live that one down.

    I won't let you.

    .

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  115. Q, I had stated in conv. with you that the "food demonstrations" were caused by the bakers going on strike.

    Ash wanted verification, and I relented, and posted an article from May, 2007.

    That was at 02:46 pm.

    If I was sourcing my position with an article from 2007 it would seem pretty obvious that I wasn't referring to something that happened in 2011. Don't you agree?

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  116. Rufus, you doofus, you posted an article that mentioned bakers went on strike which says NOTHING about the cause of the demonstrations.

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  117. .

    If I was sourcing my position with an article from 2007 it would seem pretty obvious that I wasn't referring to something that happened in 2011. Don't you agree?



    I do agree. However, I merely went through the sections you posted and which I assumed you thought relevant to the discussion. They didn't mention anything about 2007.

    And I still fail to see why the 2007 date was relevant to your and my argument. Ash responded to your 'baker strike' point. That 2007 article had little relevance to what you and I were arguing about.

    Or maybe I am missing something.

    Our discussion, started with you saying that we don't have to worry about inflation when real (ie inflation adjusted) median family incomes were falling.

    I disagreed and mentioned Egypt (based on their unemployment rate, contracting economy, and increased inflation.)

    The argument then went to when or if inflation would start dropping again in the US. Again we disagreed but at least our argument was a legitimate one. A difference of opinion.

    Then it quickly devolved to (if I read you right, as I am still unclear) stories created by Fox news and big oil that caused all the problems (misunderstandings?, again I don't quite get it).

    And then you gave us a quick trip four years back to explain the things that happened in Egypt last spring.

    I admit it, I'm getting older and sometimes just can't keep up.

    Sorry.

    .

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  118. .

    However, although I admit that I probaly can't keep up with the keen workings of your ethanol lubricated mind, still I must protest.

    Oh, you can call me bubba or jerk. I can take it. I have been called worse. But when you start referring to Doug as my "snarky little friend", you have gone too far.

    Doug's not the kind of guy to object. He is too big a man.

    But in the name of justice, I must.


    Little?

    Fie!

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

    .

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  119. We should have mercy on poor Quirk.
    He is the victim of several anti-ethanol brainwashing schemes and doesn't even know it.

    I guess that's the essence of brainwashing in a peanutshell.

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  120. Quite effective info, thanks so much for the post.

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